Trump Will Stop Green Card for 60 days, H1B, L Visa Not Affected

Trump signed executive order. Start date Apr 23, midnight for 60 days. Blocks entry of people who do not have approved GC to protect American jobs for citizens.

Written by Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta    Updated  22 Apr, 20

Update April 22, 8.30 PM ET: Trump has signed the executive order to stop the entry of people with no valid green card for the next 60 days.

The ban starts Apr 23, 2020, at 12 PM-Midnight Eastern Time and will end on June 23, 2020 midnight for:

  • Parents, Siblings of US citizens
  • Spouses and minor children of permanent residents

I130 application can be approved but the next step of the green card will be delayed. The order affects people who do not have an approved GC as of today. They cannot expect to enter the US in the next 60 days.

The US embassy visa officer will take into account this order while approving your GC application.

Green card holders currently outside the USA can travel and enter. GC holders who are currently in the USA are not affected including Spouses and children of US citizens.

Type of ApplicationTrump Executive Order Bans
i485 AOS, i485 EADNo,
Nothing is mentioned explicitly but the intent is to keep job seekers away. i485 Can be approved and can be filed but may be delayed.
Green card Pending – Outside USAYes,
Green cards may not be approved for 60 days till the order stays Active.
Green card Valid – Outside USANo,
You can enter US with valid Green card.
I-130 Family Sponsor ApplicationNo,
It can be approved and you can file i485.
i140, PERM, EB5No (Updated 4/22 – 8.30 PM ET)
H1B, L1A, L1B Work Visa,
Valid visa holders can enter USA as their work Authorization is backed by LCA.
F1, OPT, STEM, H2B, B1/B2 VisaNo,
Valid visa holders can enter USA.

Are H1B & L work visas affected?

Trump’s executive order does not affect work visa programs at this time but the order does mention that they will review nonimmigrant programs within 30 days to see their effects on the US job market.

This is in line with what we have been reporting that pausing work visas is on the card but has been delayed as it is more complex and targets high paying jobs.

It is possible that another order may be coming soon which will target work-based visas.

It all started when Jeff Sessions, Former Attorney General, and current Republican U.S. Senate candidate floated the idea of work visa moratorium on April 18.

“We have about 1.4 million people that come to this country every year to take jobs. We just announced today 5 million more people on the unemployment roll … 22 million now [since mid-March]. There is no doubt it is in the interest of the United States of America to make sure that we get every one of those unemployed American jobs first,” Sessions said.

He had told FoxNews that “American families and workers must come first. It is morally wrong and economically disastrous to import more foreign workers when millions of Americans are out of work through no fault of their own”.

It may have provisions to hold off work visas for 30-90 days with these exceptions:

  • Jobs in Food Production (farm workers) using the H2B visa and supply chain.
  • Healthcare professions – Anybody working in a medical profession or a health care company might be safe.

H1B workers might be asked to provide updated LCA certifications proving that they are not displacing American workers!

This is a BIG task and will certainly affect current extensions, transfers, and other applications. Note that there are no concrete details available yet. I will update as soon as I hear more.

People with a valid visa but are currently stuck in their home country like China or India may not be able to travel back to the US in the near future if this entry ban is implemented.

The sentiments are high and most decisions in an election year are going to be made keeping in mind the voter sentiment which incidentally is inclined towards banning immigration. See this Washington Post survey:

On April 20 evening, Trump had tweeted about signing an executive order to ban all immigration to the USA in the wake of job losses due to Coronavirus.

Are i140, PERM Affected?

At this time, none of the employment-based visas are affected. Your can file i140 and PERM and get approval too.

The only thing that Trump is aiming to stop is issuing a green card for the next 60 days which means that if your i485 application is pending, it may remain pending for the next 60 days. They are going to pause the approvals of the i485 green card in the US and immigrant visa issuance by the US embassy.

In other words, your AOD (adjustment of status) will not be approved even though your priority date is current as per the visa bulletin.

Are H4EAD, L2, F1, OPT Affected?

There is nothing in the Trump’s executive order that affects H4 EAD, L2 EAD, F1, OPT or any such EAD including i485 EAD.

Your i485 EAD can be approved as per current information.

Does Trump Has Powers to Ban all Immigration?

Several Attorneys have questioned the viability of this executive order and think that it will be blocked by a lawsuit immediately in Federal courts. Although the complete ban can be contested in court, the back door H1B and L work visa rejections using stricter interpretation are not uncommon in the last couple of years.

This could be thought of as the ban on Muslim nations earlier which was challenged in court and was blocked by several courts around the country.

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Written by Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta           

New Questions on Forum

Recent discussion on forum

  1. Anil.Gupta

    Hi @Sonammittal

    As per latest unconfirmed information, it is possible that Trump bans issuance of green cards and work visas for 120 days or more.

    It seems that they are trying to ban travel entry from all countries which is currently stopped from Europe and China for about 120 days.

  2. Manoj_Sharma

    How would it impact on H1b visas stammped in Feb 2020, but travel didn’t happned yet.

  3. Anil.Gupta

    Latest update at Apr 21, 2020 9.30 AM:

  4. Anil.Gupta

    Read here. I am updating it continuously:

  5. josegabriel_gm

    This is an analysis from my immigration attorneys as to what it could be happening the next couple days when this executive order takes place.

    We will have to wait til this order is released thou ! All these are speculations

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